Thursday, 14 November 2013

Ticks Kill Sheep


Nov. 12, 2013 — In some lamb herds, a mortality rate of 30 percent has been recorded, albeit, no predators have been involved in these losses. The situation is so serious that the sheep industry could be under threat. It is therefore crucial to identify the causes and implement preventative measures. The answer may be found somewhere within the genetics of the sheep and the course of the disease, assessment and control of tick populations and biological control of ticks.

Weakens the immune system
Tick-bites in sheep may result in the disease tick-borne fever (TBF), induced by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum (A.ph). TBF causes high fever and weakens the immune system.

"It is estimated that approximately 300,000 lambs are exposed to this bacteria each year. However, they do not necessarily die from the infection," says tick researcher Lise Grøva at Bioforsk Organic at Tingvoll in Norway.

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